Interviews from the Void: Episode #16 – K. M. Weiland

Highlights Writing a lot is the only thing that will improve our writing. The importance of outlining and the time it takes to write a great novel. Writing novels takes several years. Welcome to the sixteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with historical and speculative fiction writer K. M. Weiland about her prolific writing abilities and growing her writing business. For those writers out there who feel they are taking too long to work on a particular project, this interview is for you. I’ve learned by reading extensively…and putting in many, many hours writing my own words. Arthur: Your website is fantastic, filled with great articles with writing tips and your books, both fiction and non-fiction. Writing is also your full-time job. Did you always want to be a writer? Did you study writing in any school, or have you done what most of us do, just learn by writing? Katie: Becoming a writer wasn’t so much a decision. It just happened—which is how I think the right things in life usually happen. I grew up horse crazy, spent part of every summer working on a friend’s cattle ranch in Wyoming, and thought I’d end up being a horse trainer. But somewhere in high school, I realized I was having more fun staying inside and writing than I was going outside and riding. So after graduation, I sold the horses and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #15 – Sean Stone

Highlights Why outlining your story is critical to efficient writing. Writing dialogue in a way so all your characters don’t sound the same. How positioning our writing desks can improve our writing productivity. Welcome to the fifteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with horror writer Sean Stone about what influences the events in his stories and how to write better dialogue. Books with outlines are both easier to write and just better constructed. Arthur: On your About page, you note that you work as a lab technician. I’m assuming writing is not your full-time job. What is your writing schedule and how do you find time to write? Sean: That’s right, I have to fit writing around my day job. I usually do a couple hours of writing in the evening after work. I also dedicate one of my days off to writing. Sometimes I get a bit of writing done on my lunch break, too. Arthur: You have a great collection of books and stories you’ve authored. Describe your typical writing session. Are you a fast writer, just trying to get words on the page and finish the first draft? Or are you a slow writer, making sure every sentence is one that could be etched in stone? Sean: I try to write fast and just get those words down, but I’m rarely successful. I usually sit[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode 14 – Manuel Arbanassi

Highlights How characters are the principle part of moving the story along. It’s more important to tell the story you want to tell than trying to cater to a specific audience. Writing with English as a second language. I’ve always been very interested in the characters – I think they are the principle part of the story, since they’re the ones moving it along. Welcome to the fourteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with urban and cyber fantasy writer Manuel Arbanassi about characterization and the importance of writing for yourself.  Arthur: Do you still live in Italy? What are the big genres selling well there? Is there much of a market for science fiction, horror or fantasy? Manuel: I do indeed still live in Italy, Monfalcone to be exact. It’s in the northeast. And when it comes to horror and fantasy, we tend mostly to get books from foreigner big names (for example Rowley, King, etc). We did have some names in our country as well, mostly in the high fantasy genre. Arthur: You have your website. Do you run it yourself? Manuel: Well, ‘running it’ is a bit of a strong word, but I do try my best! A friend of mine convinced to start a blog. I had another site before, but honestly it was poorly planned, and the fact that it was more of a ‘site’[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #13 – Claire Luana

Highlights That there’s no substitute for just doing the work of writing. Finding time to write while maintaining a demanding full-time job. Editing and the self-publishing process. There’s no substitute for just doing. Welcome to the thirteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with YA fantasy writer Claire Luana about finding more time to write and growing her brand and writing business. Arthur: Very recently, you quit a regular (and demanding, I should say) day job to write. One of the things I’m searching for in these interviews is how writers can make more time for writing and increase their productivity. When you had your full-time job, what was your writing schedule? Trying to do it all – write, work, and do normal life activities – were you ever completely exhausted? How did you push through and keep writing? Claire: Thanks for having me on the blog, Arthur! When I first started writing, I would write on the bus on the way to and from work (about a 40 minute ride each way). That worked great (so long as I got a seat that day!) But, about a year into writing, my commute changed, so I needed to find a new solution. I’m a morning person and found that I absolutely couldn’t write worth a damn after a long day of work. The obvious solution was to write in[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #12 – Kristina Mahr

Highlights Pursuing our dreams as writers. The traditional publishing process. The importance of writing weekly short stories to improve our writing craft. This is my dream, and that I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue it. Welcome to the twelfth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with young adult writer Kristina Mahr about finding more time to write and growing her brand with her first book, ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, coming out on May 15, 2018.    Arthur: Your first book, “All That We See or Seem,” is coming out on May 15. Congratulations on your first book! What a great accomplishment! How did you just decide “I’m going to do this” and push through all the obstacles of writing a book? Kristina: Thank you so much! Honestly, it was years in the making. My New Year’s resolution had been “write a book,” or “try to write a book,” or some variation of that with increasing frustration with myself since college. I would chip away at an adult contemporary novel that lived in my head, but I was very sporadic and inconsistent with my writing time. Until my sister had a dream one night about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams, and I couldn’t shake it. I have been an avid Young Adult reader for years, and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #11 – Benjamin Shelor

Highlights The magic of the first draft. Finding time to write when we have a family and a full-time job. Experimenting with our prose to find our own voice. I am of a mind that there should be an abundance of magic in the first draft. That’s where the story is born, and as with any life, inception is a work of wonder. Welcome to the eleventh episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process and the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I’ve asked Benjamin Davis Shelor about his writing process and what draws him to fantasy and science fiction. Arthur: You’ve been writing for a long time. Since childhood. Is writing now a full-time occupation for you, or do you have another full-time job and or a family? What is your writing schedule and how do you find time to write? Ben: For me, writing has always been more a way of life than a way to make a living. If it ever became an income to support a family I’d be all for it. But I’m a pragmatist and so I have a full time job (in a field that I like even) to pay the bills and support a family. Which means my writing comes in sentences and paragraphs strewn throughout a chaotic day. It also means I have plots thickening on back burners while family time and work time are happening. That way, when the elusive[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #10 – Adam Inglis

Highlights There are no hard rules to writing. Managing all the tasks associated with being a writer. Strategies for our writing productivity when we only have 20-30 free minutes per day. It has an adventurous and hopeful feel, which fits my attitude to writing.  Welcome to the tenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with short fiction writer, Adam Inglis, about how he focuses during his writing sessions. Arthur: Your website is very well maintained. Do you run it yourself? Adam: Thank you, it has taken quite a lot of work to get it looking the way it does. In short, yes I run it. I own the domain from one company (fasthosts) but the hosting and design tool comes from wix.com. They have a rather bold claim that “It all starts with your stunning website.” There is, however, some restrictions on what you can and can’t do. If you can live with that, then it’s a decent service. It took a while to accept that what I wanted was too complex. The website as it can be seen today is a happy compromise. Arthur: How do you create the images on your site? Adam: I created all the artwork using free-to-use images that I’ve either manipulated in an editor, or cropped and filtered. It is an obsessive compulsion to give every story, or poem, a sort of “cover[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #9 – Bryan Aiello

Highlights Why we need to write more than one novel to improve as writers. Being brief in our prose while keeping the flow of the story interesting. The importance of setting goals for ourselves and doing what we say we’re going to do. Writing a singular novel is not going to make you a good novelist. Writing many novels will though. Welcome to the ninth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with speculative fiction writer Bryan Aiello about finding more time to write and where he finds his inspiration. Arthur: You’re an Army Veteran. I want to personally thank you for your service. You discuss on your blog that you’re working on a military science fiction novel for 2019. Will your military experience have any influence in the story? Bryan: I enjoy writing about soldiers. If I was forced to boil it down, most of the work I have done is fictionalized military history. I use my experiences digging foxholes to imagine what life is like for people under the gun. I do have a military fiction short story collection I would like to publish. I have not done so yet. Is there ever a right time? It’s got about nine stories in it at the moment. I am debating whether there might be a more concise way to construct a collection. Hopefully within the year I will have decided[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #8 – Paul Huxley

Highlights How we learn the writing craft. Starting a publishing company and building a writing business. Writing tools and self-publishing. I believe you learn the craft mostly through osmosis. You have to submerge yourself in the best writing and then let that accumulated knowledge pour out when it’s ready. Welcome to the eighth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy and weird fiction writer Paul Huxley about developing the craft and how he started his own publishing company. Arthur: You mentioned to me that you’re a part time writer, and your other job is looking after your kids. Are you a stay at home Dad? How do you find time to write being a full-time Dad? During naps? Late at night? Early in the morning? Paul: I do have at least a couple of days a week to myself, those are often taken up with writing commissioned work. That is to say things I’m paid to write whether that be screenplays, ghostwritten novels or simply editing other people’s work. I do try to squeeze in some time to work on my own stuff. Recently I’ve taken to writing on my phone on the fly, which has lead me to produce a lot more short fiction. Arthur: Do you have a daily word count you try to achieve? How do you manage your writing schedule?  Paul: I tend to schedule[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #7 – Eric Lahti

Highlights How we make time for the things we want to pursue. The type of experiences we are hoping to create for our readers. How listening to people talk helps us write great dialogue. I sincerely believe you make time for the things you want to do.  Welcome to the seventh episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Eric Lahti about his writing process, finding more time for the craft and why he writes. Arthur: On your blog, you mention you started writing five years ago. What made you start writing? And what has been the most rewarding experience you’ve taken from your writing experience? Eric: In late 2013, I was watching TV and playing Saints Row for the umpteenth time. Something clicked and I wondered if there wasn’t more out there than just watching things happen. I’d had the idea for Henchmen pinging around in my head for a while at that point (although it was quite a lot different from what that book eventually became) so I cracked open Word and started writing. About six pages in, my wife asked me what I was doing. That was a sheer panic moment – not as bad as handing her those pages to read, I hid in my office while she was reading them. Finishing that book was rewarding in and of itself. Writing a book is a[…] [Keep Reading]